Businesses band together to get direct access to their properties

CALL FOR CHANGE: Business owners Bob Shearing and Mark Lewis have collected a peititon of 113 signatures to have a turning bay installed on Main South Rd off Harvard Ave.

Businesses have banded together in a bid to get back direct access to their properties on Main South Rd.

A petition of nearly 150 signatures has been collected by businesses calling for a turning bay to be installed at Main South Rd, opposite Harvard Ave.

Businesses are concerned patronage could be declining due to customers travelling towards Hornby being unable to directly access the properties.

Vehicles wanting to access businesses opposite Harvard Avenue have the “inconvenience” of having to perform a U-turn manoeuvre further up the road past the intersection of Main South Rd and Springs Rd.

The signatures were presented to the Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board by RA Shearings Contractors director Bob Shearing and D.A.Lewis director Mark Lewis.

But city council staff are yet to investigate the situation.

Community board chairman Mike Mora said city council staff is expected to report back in April.

Last year the city council banned vehicles from turning right and making U-turns at the intersection of Harvard Avenue and the intersection of Symes Rd and Green Lane last year.

Mr Shearing, a former city councillor, said he has had his business there for more than 40 years and there has never been a problem with the road.

He said there are about 20 businesses in the block employing about 200-300 employees.

“We certainly don’t believe it was ever dangerous or is…they need to make the corner safe to do U-turns and the only way to do that now is to put a turning bay into it which is easy to do”.

But city council transport operations manager Steffan Thomas said there have been 12 crashes reported in the past five years – one serious injury and three minor injury crashes.

Mr Shearing said the issue is if people can’t turn there, they will go to another business.

His views were backed by Mr Lewis and Chipmunks Playland & Cafe (Wigram) business partner Dell Lu.

Mr Lewis said it does a door count every day and the people coming through has decreased.

Mr Lu said while it is difficult to tell whether the numbers have decreased due to the sunny weather, he believes he has lost customers.

The city council originally installed the signs due to there being no turning bays.

Mr Steffan said right-turning and U-turn traffic was obstructing traffic flows in both directions of Main South Rd and the city council needed to deal with the safety issue which has been ongoing for many years.